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Sun, Earth, and Moon. Lunar Phases Eclipses Tides. Phases of the Moon. The appearance or shape of the Moon gradually changes through the course of a month. This is called the Lunar Cycle . The Moon is not self-luminous! It reflects the light of the Sun.

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sun earth and moon
Sun, Earth, and Moon
  • Lunar Phases
  • Eclipses
  • Tides
phases of the moon
Phases of the Moon

The appearance or shape of the Moon gradually changes through the course of a month. This is called the Lunar Cycle.

The Moon is not self-luminous! It reflects the light of the Sun.

The Moon circles the Earth approximately once every 29 days or 1 month.

why do we never see the dark side
Why do we never see the DARK SIDE?
  • The moon rotates on its axis at the same pace as it revolves around the Earth, so we always see the same face of the moon.
slide4
The lighted side of the moon always faces the sun.

The moon appears to change shape over the course of a lunar month (one rotation around the Earth) because, from Earth, we see different parts of the moon illuminated by the sun.

new moon
ENew Moon

What we see

  • New moon occurs when the moon is between the sun & the Earth.
  • The unlit side of the moon is facing the Earth.

What is happening from above.

Sunlight

first quarter moon
EFirst QuarterMoon

What we see

  • The First quarter moon occurs when the moon is halfway between new and full.

(about 7 days)

  • As seen from the Earth, half the moon’s disk is illuminated.

What is happening from above.

Sunlight

full moon
EFull Moon

What we see

  • The full moon occurs when the Moon & the Sun are on opposite sides of the Earth.
  • (about 14 days)
  • The lighted side of the moon is facing Earth.

What is happening from above.

Sunlight

third quarter moon
EThird QuarterMoon

What we see

  • The Third or last quarter moon occurs halfway between the full moon & the new moon.
  • (about 21 days)
  • As seen from the Earth, half the moon’s disk is illuminated.

What is happening from above.

Sunlight

waxing
Waxing
  • When the moon is between new & full, the visible part of the moon is increasing.
  • This is called waxing (light on right)
waning
Waning
  • When the moon is between full & new, the visible part of the moon is decreasing.
  • This is called waning. (light on left)
crescent moon
ECrescent Moon

1st Quarter

  • When the moon is between New & 1st Quarter it is called a waxing crescent.

Sunlight

Waxing Crescent

Full Moon

New Moon

  • When the moon is between 3rd and new it is called waning crescent.

3rd Quarter

Waning Crescent

gibbous moon
EGibbous Moon

Waxing gibbous

1st Quarter

  • When the moon is between 1st Quarter & Full it is called a waxing gibbous.

Sunlight

New Moon

Full Moon

  • When the moon is between Full & 3rd it is called a waning gibbous.

3rd Quarter

Waning Gibbous

eclipses
Eclipses
  • Celestial bodies are always “eclipsing” or moving in front of each other.
  • Eclipses occur at predictable intervals.
  • Solar Eclipses can be total, partial, or annular
slide14
The moon passes directly between the Earth and the sun, blocking out the sun as seen from Earth.
slide15
This graphic illustrates how the shadow of the moon falls on the Earth during a total solar eclipse. Notice how small and narrow the path of totality is.
slide16
The Earth moves between the sun and the moon and casts a shadow on the moon. Lunar eclipses can come in a variety of colors from deep black to rich shades of red as light is filtered in atmosphere.
slide18
Tides are periodic rises and falls of large bodies of water. Tides are caused by the gravitational interaction between the Earth and the Moon
slide19
.

Spring tides are especially strong tides (they do not have anything to do with the season Spring). They occur when the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon are in a line. The gravitational forces of the Moon and the Sun both contribute to the tides. Spring tides occur during the full moon and the new moon.

slide20
Neap tides are especially weak tides. They occur when the gravitational forces of the Moon and the Sun are perpendicular to one another (or pulling at 90 degrees). Neap tides occur during quarter moons.
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